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Breaking traditions, board by board

David Dziedzic | Friday, April 20, 2012

One of my fondest memories of Frosh-O was waking up that Sunday morning to unload a truck. On second thought, maybe not my fondest memory. But it nevertheless has stuck in my mind.

That morning, an 18-wheeler rolled into the parking lot behind St. Edwards. The older Gentlemen woke the freshmen up, and we gathered at the doors of the trailer. As they opened it, we were astonished to see it fully-packed with wood. We were instructed to unload the contents of the truck, as it was the lumber that would make up all of the lofts in St. Edwards for the year. Then the older Gentlemen proceeded to kick back on couches they had brought outside, watching us work while the sunrise gleamed off the Dome. More than anything, unloading a truck with the rest of the freshmen fostered a sense of brotherhood among us. We participated in myriad awkward and cliché team building exercises during Frosh-O, but this one felt natural, productive, and was absolutely more effective than the planned ones.

Unloading the truck is one of the traditions that the Gentlemen of St. Edwards partake in every year. Now, that tradition is being stripped away because the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH) won’t allow lofts for freshmen next year. By August 2013, no Stedsmen will be allowed to loft. And if you don’t think this affects you, keep in mind that per ORLH’s plan, no dorms will be allowed to have lofts in a few years.

Traditions are something that our University holds dear. We won’t be able to foster brotherhood with the freshmen as well next year, because we won’t be helping them build their lofts. I won’t be able to sit on a couch Sunday morning this August to playfully tease the freshmen as they unload the trailer. And what about all the alumni who lived in St. Edwards that would undoubtedly be upset if they heard this news? A part of St. Edwards will die if ORLH has its way. And by extension, one of Notre Dame’s traditions will die as well.

David Dziedzic


St. Edwards Hall

April 19